Baghdasarian Quits National Security Post as Orinats Yerkir Drops Out of Coalition

Head of Armenia's Orinats Yerkir (Rule of Law) Party, Artur Baghdasarian

YEREVAN (—Secretary of Armenia’s National Security Council Artur Baghdasarian announced Firday his decision to step down from his official post.

At a meeting with reporters, Baghdasarian said that he took into account the decision of the Orinats Yerkir (Rule of Law) Party — of which he is the leading member — to refrain from joining the new governing coalition. He extended thanks to NSC staff, with whom he has worked for the past six years.

“President Serzh Sarkisian is my friend, but each of us have our own vision. From now on, we’ll follow different paths, and I intend not to shy away from criticizing whatever actions I find unreasonable,” Baghdasarian said.

“I do not rule out running for president in the 2018 elections,” Baghdasarian said. “A lot will change during the next three to four years,” he added.

Baghdasarian also noted that according to an agreement with his Russian counterpart Nikolai Patrushev, Moscow will ease migration legislation for Armenian citizens.

“We are at a transitional stage and, until we join the Customs Union, the agreements reached will help pass this stage without any shocks,” he said.

Following the sitting of its political board, Orinats Yerkir Party issued a statement on April 16 saying that its further participation in the ruling coalition of Armenia is “problematic and inexpedient.”

The statement notes that the political board of Orinats Yerkir decided to approve the applications of party members Armen Yeritsyan, Sergo Karapetyan, and Hrant Tadevosyan for their withdrawal from the party.

The decision was taken after discussions and an assessment of the situation following statements by President Serzh Sarkisian about constitutional reforms, the Constitutional Court’s decision on pension reform, the prime minister’s resignation, and the appointment of ex-speaker Hovik Abrahamian as the new prime minister.

While indicating the achievements made in coalition with the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) in the last six years, the political board of Orinats Yerkir noted: “We failed to implement our numerous election programs, which is evidenced, for example, by over two dozen bills, which have remained in the National Assembly for years without becoming law, despite numerous debates.”

According to the Orinats Yerkir political board, the format of the coalition was inefficient and did not sufficiently allow Orinats Yerkir to influence the process regarding important decisions and appointments to key posts.

The political board of the party also indicated that the party was unsatisfied with the failure by President Sarkisian to appoint Artur Baghdasarian as the new prime minister.

A statement by the party chastised the decision to appoint Hovik Abrahamian as prime minister, saying: “[Orinats Yerkir] believes that the new government should be composed of a well-educated and competent team capable of implementing reforms and setting up a foreign economic agenda of Armenia in cooperation with international financial organizations and important partners, from the Customs Union to the European Union.

“Given its 6-year participation in Armenia’s ruling coalition, the Orinats Yerkir Party views the assumption of a real leadership role as the only well-founded reason for remaining in the coalition. Such a leading position was not offered to Orinats Yerkir in the recent construction of the new government. The party believes that the domination of the country’s top leadership positions by one political force does not create a real opportunity for activities of the coalition authorities, making their participation in the coalition simply a formality,” the statement said.

The political board of Orinats Yerkir, “admitting that RPA, as the political majority, has enough potential for forming a government single-handedly and bearing full political responsibility,” thanked President Serzh Sarkisian for the years of joint work and wished success to the newly appointed Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian.


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